Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step 2.0

Read this post at this blog’s new URL: NavigateIntoSuccess.com.

A new version of Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology was released yesterday and is available for download to all Microsoft Dynamics partners enrolled in a service plan. If you were a partner, and thought you had no reason to enroll in one before, now there is a compelling reason to do so. This version brings so many improvements over the previous one that it is really worth it. Okay, I admit it, I might be a little bit biased, but only a little bit.

I’ve just downloaded and installed this version, then played with it for a few minutes, and here is just a handful of news (I’ll just unload them as they cross my mind – no order, no prioritization, no categorization, just a plain list of news):

  • All new user interface: a stand-alone application, not relying on Internet Explorer, with better navigation, and many many useful features
  • Projects: this is simply great, you can now create projects, and Sure Step simply creates a project repository, copies all of the templates into it, so you can create project documentation and manage it completely through Sure Step interface. You can have as many projects as you heart desires (I hope so, I haven’t tried yet to create that many of them), and have all the documents and customer deliverables neatly organized into project phases. You can even zip them and save them. Way cool!
  • Diagnostic phase now makes much more sense, and approaches the project in a totally different way than before, it comes with new offerings. I hope I get a chance (and time – oh how much I could use a little bit of time) to blog about these.
  • There are new project types, such as Rapid Upgrade, or Enterprise.
  • Customization is gone, but I believe that’s something that can now be addressed by Project Templates – a much better feature if you ask me.
  • New optimization offerings, such as Code Review.
  • Auto-update feature which allegedly auto-updates the whole thing. Couldn’t test it yet, duh!

And so on, and so forth. Unfortunately I don’t have time at this moment neither to play around with it any more than I have, nor to blog any further.

In any case, you can download it here:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/partneressentials/serviceplans/surestep/

(PartnerSource access required)

Links to my other posts about Sure Step:

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7 Responses to “Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step 2.0”

  1. Dave Roys Says:

    Hi Vjeko, a couple of things I found:

    1) the install failed for me. There is a pre-requisite for .NET framework 3.5 and it tried to automatically apply this but that didn’t work. Once I manually applied .NET framework 3.5 the install worked fine.

    2) All of the documents seeme to be for either CRM or AX. No NAV.

    I know you don’t have time to investigate but I figured I would leave a comment here for anyone else that might have install problems/know of where the NAV sample docs/templates are.

    The application looks awesome and the sample documents look pretty good. It’s just seing all of those steps scares the pants off me.

  2. Aditya Mohan Says:

    Dave –

    Fair feedback. Couple of updates:

    1. .NET framework is actually part of the Vista SP1; you would have needed sooner rather than later – so good move! Glad it installed.
    2. We do have more NAV templates in the works; especially sample deliverables. One of the changes we have made is that we have no version for Sure Step (v2, 2009, etc…). Reason – we have the ability to now push live updates on a quarterly basis. NAV is a priority for us – especially in the Rapid implementation type. Having said that, please filter on NAV – and there are NAV specific templates that we have indeed added.
    3. Finally, on the steps – we did hear the feedback – and did create Rapid project type with limited steps – and even more limited customer deliverables. On the ‘Sure Step Methodology’ tab, click on the ‘Documents’ sub-tab and filter on NAV and Rapid. Then you can filter on Customer Deliverables. This is what I am talking about.

    We also have ‘Give Feedback’ on each page…click on it and send your feedback. We are listening!

  3. Vjeko Says:

    Dave, I really couldn’t answer your questions otherwise than to quote a funny oneliner I once heard: “I don’t know the solution, but I admire the problem!” Instead of me, Aditya has answered your questions. When it is about Sure Step, you couldn’t get a better authority to answer them.

    Aditya: thanks for commenting, and for answering the questions! It’s an honor having you here!

  4. Neil Benson Says:

    Vjeko, one thing that I haven’t found mentioned anywhere is that the one-day partner training for Sure Step was at no cost. With Sure Step v2, the training is two days and is now chargeable. The Sure Step methodology itself is downloadable, but the classroom training is an additional charge. Worth bearing in mind if you have several consultants to train and assume that the investment in the service plan covers the training (like I did!).

  5. Vjeko Says:

    Neil: I understand your concern, and I am really sorry that you got wrong assumptions about Sure Step training. Now, I don’t know why they are not included, or whether they will be, and I can’t but agree with you that some kind of training should be free: in the end it’s you the partners who’ll choose to use this methodology, or not to use it; and if it costs you a truckload of money only to get you started, with all other investments that you do in partnership and readiness, I can’t not see the world from your shoes. However, if I remember correctly from when I used to work for a partner, the service plans cover some e-learning, you can check Sure Step Readiness Portal (https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/partneressentials/serviceplans/surestep/MSDSureStep_readinessresources.htm) regularly to see when it will be available. It says September 2008. Also some training materials are due to become available–while I am not sure that you will be able to download them it’s worth your time to check.

  6. sudheer Says:

    can any body help me, because i dont hav access to download surestep and elearning courses.. please help me, its really appreciatable.

  7. Vjeko Says:

    sudheer: Sure Step is only available to Microsoft Certified Partner specializing in implementing Microsoft Dynamics line of products, who are enrolled in a service plan. If you work with such a partner company, you should contact your partner account manager in your local Microsoft office. In any other case, I am sorry, but I can’t really help you.

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